Over the past few years, local SEO has undergone significant changes. These days, Google looks for more than just locality to Google users to rank a page highly in local search results. With these changes, it is important to learn what to expect from local SEO in 2018 and the years ahead.
Here are the top predictions for the route local SEO is taking in 2018 and the future.
The minimum requirements for local SEO are evolving
For your local SEO marketing to work, there are some elements that must be presented on your website for it to rank well in search engines. These elements include:
- Accurate data on data aggregators like the business directories and key local sites
- Reviews on specified local properties
- An optimized google my business submission. It needs to have updated and correct information.
- Optimized Area landing pages that are discoverable by google.
While these elements are important, they are not the only way Google determines your site rating worthiness. They have evolved to include other factors.
• Listing optimization
It is now more important than ever for you to optimize your GMB (Google my business). It ensures your site appears at the top of search engines and also have your business info shown such as the map, hours of business and contact details.
• Reviews management
Google bots make use of reviews to understand Google users’ intents and offer the desired results. A good way to manage your reviews is to focus on location as this builds local authority and boosts rankings.
• Insights and data
Data is important when it comes to local SEO. You can use google search console to find data that is relevant to your client base. The data you need to be looking for include relevant keywords, engaging content, local business directions and also instant response contact options.
Growth in value for local backlinks
Since local traffic is what you are after, you need to focus on creating backlinks in local directories. Using local websites will add local relevance to your site. This builds authority and trust. In fact, a local directory link is far more powerful in local SEO than several links in national directories. Make sure your backlinks are supported with engaging content. This is the best way to grow value in different categories and also grow your backlinks.
Content quality is now important to local SEO
As local SEO advances, the quality of content on your site is now as important to local SEO as it is to traditional SEO. You need to make use of videos, images, and audio as well as text-heavy formats to address client needs promptly while at the same time letting your clients know your business is available online or in person. Ensure your contact details and address are always visible as this makes it easier for the client to find you.
Structured data is important to get ahead
Structured data markup, more specifically GeoCoordinates is very important for local SEO if you want to get ahead of your competition in 2018 and beyond. Even so, less than 30 percent of local business websites were using markups by the end of 2017. Structured data is what helps Google to understand what your website is about. Also, structured data will change how your data is arranged in search engines. It shows clients specific info about your page which prompts them to click on your site.